ST. GEORGE — Shocking images of a man and woman who overdosed on heroin in their car with a 4-year-old boy sitting in the backseat were captured by Ohio police Wednesday and then shared on social media as part of a heroin-awareness initiative.
A police officer in East Liverpool observed the driver of the Ford Explorer driving erratically and weaving back and forth behind a school bus that was in the process of dropping off children, according to a police report filed by the Ohio police department.
The officer noted that the vehicle began to brake hard and then skidded to a stop. When the school bus pulled away, the vehicle remained in the roadway before slowly drifting at an angle on the street.
When the officer approached the vehicle, he noticed the driver was barely conscious and a woman was slumped across the passenger seat next to him, turning blue, according to the police report. In the back of the vehicle, a 4-year-old boy sat restrained in a car seat.
The officer called an ambulance, and when the paramedics arrived, they administered Narcan, used to reverse opioid overdoses. After 47-year-old James Acord and 50-year-old Rhonda Pasek were revived, police arrested them and contacted children’s services.
City of East Liverpool officials made the decision to post the police photos of the incident along with a copy of the police report on its Facebook page to illustrate the dangers of “the poison known as heroin.”
“We feel it necessary to show the other side of this horrible drug,” the city wrote in the accompanying post. “We feel we need to be a voice for the children caught up in this horrible mess. This child can’t speak for himself but we are hopeful his story can convince another user to think twice about injecting this poison while having a child in their custody.”
The post continued:
We are well aware that some may be offended by these images and for that we are truly sorry, but it is time that the non drug using public sees what we are now dealing with on a daily basis. The poison known as heroin has taken a strong grip on many communities not just ours, the difference is we are willing to fight this problem until it’s gone and if that means we offend a few people along the way we are prepared to deal with that.
Many states across the nation have been struggling with an epidemic of heroin overdose deaths. The number of heroin-involved deaths nationwide has nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2013, federal health officials said in July.
After going up on Facebook Thursday, the post went viral and was shared more than 28,000 times and elicited more than 5,000 comments by Monday.
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